Alvin “Al” Goebel, who served multiple terms as president of the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association and operated Almar Farm with his wife, Marlys, died Jan. 13 in Woodbury, Minn. He was 89.
Goebel got his first exposure to horses while growing up in North Dakota. In the mid-1950s, he and Marlys moved to Cottage Grove, Minn., east of St. Paul, where they operated Almar Farm.
Al Goebel proved instrumental in helping bring racing to Minnesota. In the mid-1980s, Canterbury Downs opened near Minneapolis. The following decade, Al and Marlys Goebel were inducted into Canterbury’s Hall of Fame.
The Goebels bred and/or raced 12 stakes winners, including In Moderation with their son, Jon. The couple was honored with three Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association awards as Minnesota’s outstanding breeders/owners.
“Dad liked the whole process of breeding and racing,” said Jon Goebel, who owns Almar Farm near Paris, Ky., with his wife, Jennifer. “He liked raising the babies, watching them grow, and seeing them win.”
In addition to Marlys, his wife of 58 years, and Jon, Goebel is survived by daughters Claudia and Kara.